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Soviet Cultural Psychology (1924–)

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Chapter Summary

At the First Congress a year earlier, Konstantin Kornilov had deposed Georgy Chelpanov , the father of Russian psychology and Director of the Institute of Psychology , and dedicated the Institute to the creation of a Marxist psychology. To the rostrum steps an unknown young teacher from Gomel, Lev Vygotsky . Vygotsky speaks with fluency and confidence, at length and without the benefit of notes. Lev Vygotsky was raised in Gomel, within the Jewish Pale in Tsarist Russia. Graduating in 1917, and after taking a course in psychology and philosophy at the "People's University" of Shanyavsky, he returned to Gomel to teach literature and psychology at the school there. Vygotsky wanted a psychology which was up to its subject matter: the actual life of human beings, not just laboratory reactions. Pavlovian 'psychology ' was enforced as the compulsory norm along with Lysenkoite 'genetics' and there were widespread purges of scientists.

Keywords: georgy chelpanov; jewish pale; konstantin kornilov; lev vygotsky; psychology; shanyavsky



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